Laser technology has come as a method to significantly improve the quality of the marking process. Before, many applications were lacking marking speed, accuracy, and quality. With the new opportunities brought by laser, ‘need an etching machine quality’ has become a set requirement the user’s state to the marking equipment providers.
Laser etching machines are irreplaceable for many applications. The choice of the device depends on your specific needs like:
- the demands to the quality of marks
- the material
- the workplace and operators
- the required speed and automation level
- your industry and it’s quality requirements
- the function of the product to etch
- and many more.
If you are not sure whether you need it or not, we offer you a resume of benefits and applications different etching machines are best at.
For marking quality means high resolution, precision, and accuracy. Laser etching is the technology that enabled the most precise and delicate imprints on a product of any size. It is very important if you need artworks etched onto your products that include sophisticated designs with lots of tiny elements. In fact, no other technology can offer such a level of quality and resolution.
But not only is the technology handy for artworks. Its accuracy makes the final marks easily readable for machinery, allowing the automation process with no faults. It is becoming the most significant aspect applied to the new internet of things field, where no human intrusion is intended and information is only gathered by computer technology.
Since the start of the product inscribing process, the marking technologists have searched for a method to make the information being imprinted on the product last longer, and if possible – for as long as the product is used. Laser etching has finally made this need fulfilled. The signs left by these machines are indelible, resistant to chemical and physical exposure, and even to time. This means the information you coded on the product can be traced through all its lifecycle.
Speed and Automation
Adding the marking process to your product processing workflow can mean adding time delays. But not with laser etching. These machines integrate easily into the automated manufacture providing quality, high-speed inscribing, minimum downtime, and requiring no post-processing. With the specialized software, the operator can create a standard pattern to apply on all products or a code that will change from one product to the other (e.g. serial numbers).
Safe and Eco-friendly
The machines pose no threat to the operator’s health and to the environment. The equipment uses no harmful consumables (in fact, no consumables at all), doesn’t cause any poisonous emission into the atmosphere, and uses power economically.
Fits Any Budget
With a variety of etching machines, you can choose the one that will suit your needs, even if your budget is rather tight.
Tip: if you are looking for cheaper laser equipment, make sure the low price doesn’t come as a compromise to poor quality. Check the reliability of the machine manufacturer, the user feedback, and if the warranty is offered.
The warranty assures quality and relieves you of the possible extra costs for machine repairing. In general, the machines are easy and cheap to maintain, but it’s better if the manufacturer includes free maintenance in the offer.
What Can a Laser Machine Mark?
The machine can etch almost any design including letters, numbers, signs, graphics, codes, etc, of various sizes and shapes. These imprinted designs can be used for many purposes:
- Manufacturer identification and anti-counterfeiting (logo, brand name, copyright)
- Information for consumers or end-users: size, diameter, etc
- Product tracking information: serial number, issue date, different alphanumeric and graphical codes
- The information confirming the compliance with the industry’s quality standards
- Customizing the products
The specific applications of different laser etch machines can also be determined by the surface they work with.
Laser Etching Machine for Metal
The non-contact laser method offers the most delicate processing to metals, accommodating the needs of various metal types. Coated and uncoated metals, precious metals, and even novel metal alloys employ the ability to choose the needed wavelength and frequency range and set the engine in the way to best suit the certain application.
This allows both deep engraving and etching that only slightly changes the metal surface. Fiber laser etching technology is an acclaimed leader in treating metals of any kind as it handles any metal marking job regardless of the complexity and requires no pre-or post-processing.
The traditional applications of laser etching on metal are in medical, automotive, aerospace, metalworking industries, and many others.
Custom Marking and Keepsake Engraving With Metal Etching Machine
The very special use of laser etching machines for engraving pictures, photos, artwork designs, and other graphics or inscribing custom writings is becoming more popular. The most beloved materials for this kind of imprinting are different metals, especially stainless steel and a luxury segment precious metals engraving. The cuts left by the laser on the metal surface look really fancy, draw attention to the quality and remind the traditional old-style look of inscriptions on gold, silver, or other precious metals.
Other materials such as stone and glass are also common for keepsake engraving. As a matter of fact, stone and glass have only become easy to mark with the introduction of laser technology. And today engraving of these materials is used for many other purposes.
Laser Etching Machine For Wood
Burning designs into wooden parts is one of the earliest applications of the method. As wood doesn’t take too long to process, it only needs low-wattage engines. Hardwoods like oak are the perfect match for laser engraving, however, engravings on softer woods can end up inconsistent in depths and are even claimed to cause flame or ignition as a result of the etching process.
Acrylic is vastly used for laser etching as it keeps the design together and the final result is outstanding. Bakelite and other hard plastics are also among the suiting materials. Like with metals, several new plastic types have been designed specifically to provide quality etching. Silicates are frequently added to lower the heat during the processing and prevent the excess material from melting.
In contrast, styrene and other similar softer plastics tend to melt during the process. Vinyl and silicones are also poorly adapted for laser technology.
In-House Use or Subcontracting
Laser etcher machines can fulfill both the needs of large industrial manufactures and small workshops. Different in sizes, options, capabilities, and, therefore, costs, various equipment configurations, and packaging are available for your special needs. The industrial equipment works easily even surrounded by tons of manufacturing devices, is easily integrated into the product line, copes with marking jobs quickly, and supports pattern automation.
Laser equipment can become a reasonable investment to start a subcontracting business for marking different products provided by the clients. These flexible and powerful devices can ensure long working hours and the quality of markings to suit any needs of the clients. Portable devices are the best for small workshops that need engraving from time to time and are short on space and budgets.
Handheld or Machine Operated
As mentioned above, portable versions are available for laser technology as well. Portable and handheld models will not only provide the mobility of your device but also help manufactures to reach spots hard to access with the fixed machine (for example, with large parts, heavy metal or stone pieces, extraordinary forms). One more advantage – handheld machines grant more control over the etching process. However, where speed and volume are at stake, full-sized machine-operated lenses take the lead.
The advantages of laser etching machines are undeniable and provide for the best marking experience with metal and some plastic products.